Yoti‘s age estimation technology has been used in a new BBC exposé on the prominence of underage pornographic content on social media platforms.
Titled “Nudes4Sale” and helmed by BBC reporter Ellie Flynn, the documentary explores the trend of teenagers selling nude photos online using the hashtag #Nudes4Sale. To that end, Yoti’s technology was used to scan Twitter for explicit images and to estimate the ages of the users uploading them. In the first day, Yoti found 2,545 such accounts in which the users appeared to be under the age of 18, based on the judgment of the Yoti Age Scan tool. Thirty-seven of the accounts were estimated to be just 13 years old.
“It’s possible for an 18-19 year old to be estimated younger than their actual age and equally, some 13-15 and 16-17 year olds could be flagged as older,” Yoti acknowledged in a blog post announcing the BBC collaboration. “But, on large sample sizes, the technology delivers high accuracy and enough assurance that accounts could and should be checked if the person appears underage.”
This is an area in which Yoti has previously shown concern, having partnered with AgeID on an age verification platform last year that was aimed at helping organizations to obtain proof of age from users seeking to view explicit content online.
Yoti is also concerned with the responsible use of biometric technology and facial recognition in particular, noting that its Yoti Age Scan solution does not retain any images after it has performed age estimation on a subject.
“Yoti has signed the Safe Face Pledge, which marks our commitment towards mitigating the abuse of facial recognition technology,” the company said. “We have embedded the pledge into our business practises, addressing harmful bias, transparency, showing value for human rights.”
The Nudes4Sale documentary is now available to stream for British residents through the BBC’s iPlayer app.